Assisted Living Community & Personal Care Home (ALC & PCH)
Designed for individuals who require assistance with everyday activities. For example: meals, medication management, housekeeping, laundry or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, medication reminders and medication management in a more independent, residential “home-like” environment than a traditional nursing home. Staff available 24/7. Transportation especially to and from medical appointments but often to nearby restaurants and shopping, activities, recreational opportunities, trips and programs. Assisted Living is often viewed as the best of both worlds. Residents have as much independence as they want with the understanding that personal care and support services are available if they need them. The physical environment of an Assisted Living Community is often more appealing to both residents and their families. Generally, Assisted Living residents have their own apartment. With apartment styles that typically include studio and one-bedroom & two-bedroom floor-plans with kitchenettes that usually feature a small refrigerator and microwave. Assisted Living Communities vary in levels of care. Residents are typically assessed upon move in, or any time there is a change in condition. The assessment is used to develop an individualized plan of care. It is important to know what type of environment each assisted living community caters to so that your loved one will be most comfortable. Some residents may have memory disorders including Alzheimer’s, or they may need help with mobility, incontinence or other challenges. Residents may also receive coordination of care with health providers such as home care, home health and hospice. Assisted Living is often less expensive than in-home care or nursing home care. Assisted Living community settings vary across the nation. An Assisted Living residence is more costly than Independent communities but usually less than memory care. Assisted Living (ALC License) ***In the state of Georgia Assisted Living Homes are licensed by the Department of Human Resources, the Office of Regulatory Services under the Personal Care Home Rules and Regulations. The terms Assisted Living and Personal Care are interchangeable. However, in the senior industry people usually refer to smaller homes (licensed for 24 beds and fewer) as Personal Care Homes and larger ones as Assisted Living Homes. The rules governing both PCH and ALF have requirements for care including 24 hour watchful oversight, assistance with ADLs or activities of daily living, 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and many others. Those individuals entering this type of home cannot require skilled nursing care and must be ambulatory. These assisted living facilities have become a substitute for nursing homes and frequently provide many, though not all, of the same care services as a skilled nursing facility. There is a HUGE difference between PCH and ALC licensure. Much of it has to do with the way the building was built and/or modified. An ALC community is a true age in place community, where PCH will always have to maintain admission criteria (i.e. remain ambulatory or apply for a waiver. Each PCH community, regardless of their size can only have 3 waivers for their non-ambulatory residents. If your loved one is #4, they will most likely get a boot. This will never happen in ALC licensed facility as there are no waivers since the buildings are built with new Fire Safety Standards which have changed in 2014). Note: An assessment, physician’s evaluation form within the past 30 days, a clear TB Test within the past 30 days OR a chest x-ray within the past 6 months to a year depending on the communities requirements.
Pricing & How It Is Covered
Private Pay – Month-to-Month Lease, (pricing can be structured by all-inclusive rates, multi-level rates and/or base rent plus additional levels of care rates), Long Term Care Insurance, VA Benefits. Prices for Assisted Living vary with the residence, apartment size, and types of services needed. Prices range from $2000 – $6000 per month.
Note: Medicare or Medicaid benefits do not cover assisted living costs. (Note: beware of teaser rates, many communities are known to nickel and dime you once you move into a community. Also, beware of annual rate increases.)
Services Typically Include:
- 24-hour staffing
- 3 restaurant-style meals served in a community dining room
- Alzheimer’s care, secured communities
- Assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s), such as eating, bathing, dressing, using the restroom, and walking
- Beauty and barber salon
- Caregiver support & groups
- Emergency call systems in the apartments
- Exercise & wellness programs
- Family engagement activities
- Health and medical services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, home care, home health, and hospice
- Housekeeping services
- Incontinence care
- Kitchens or kitchenettes in the apartment
- Laundry services
- Maintenance repairs
- Medication management
- Memory care programing for residents with cognitive impairments such as short term memory care, dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, etc.
- Offer a wide variety of non-medical services
- On-site physicians: dentist, in-house doctor, and podiatrist
- Pets (usually a deposit is required)
- Private 1 and 2 bedroom apartments.
- Respite care or adult day care
- Social & activity programs
- Transportation to medical appointments and shopping
- Shared/companion, studio, private 1 and 2 bedroom apartments
- Special Diets
- Support Groups